Rather than do a preview for UFC 90, where Anderson Silva defends his middleweight championship against Patrick Cote, I decided to put together something that my brothers at FGB helped me put together.
I posed a question to them that simply asked, who was better pound for pound between Anderson Silva and Fedor Emelianenko?
To me, it boils down to how well you dominate your weight class, the competition level, and how easy you make your wins look. There’s no question that both guys are dominating fighters. They haven’t been tested in years. From a competition level, Silva definitely has the edge (at least over the last few years), and while both guys make it look easy, Fedor wins in ways that make him look disgustingly better than anyone else across from him.
Big D thinks that while Anderson Silva is near unbeatable, he thinks that Fedor’s aura is that of someone who is even more unbeatable.
The only time he’s (Fedor) ever even come close to being decisively beaten was when Kazuyuki Fujita rocked him at PRIDE: Rebirth, but even then you can conclude he lost his balance, then quickly regained his composure and punished Fujita. Fedor has beaten the absolute best and looked like a monster each and every time. The best striker (Crocop) and the best submission expert (Nog) have both been smashed, and in some cases, utterly dominated by Emelianenko. After the Tim Sylvia fight, there was really no doubt in my mind.
Alan thinks that by being the busier of the fighters and facing anyone and everyone makes Silva the guy.
Fedor’s had the longer winning run but it’s been more spread out and padded with freak fights. Anderson’s run has been in a short span of time and he’s frequently fought top class guys. Personally I’d consider beating Fryklund-Leben-Franklin-Lutter-Marquardt-Franklin-Henderson-Irvin in the span of 2 years the more impressive run. That’s not to discount what Fedor’s done because he did tear through the likes of Cro Cop and Big Nog but like I said, those fights were spread out over a couple of years and mixed in with matches such as Zulu and Hong Man Choi.
Duan thinks that Silva’s level of competition has been greater of late and that gives him the edge.
I give him the edge over Emelianenko because the level of competition he’s faced recently is far superior. The fact of the matter is that Tim Sylvia was Fedor’s first real opponent in 3 years, and while he did dismantle him in impressive fashion, you can only learn so much in 36 seconds. In that same 3 year period, Anderson Silva destroyed the best fighters in his division and became the unified UFC and Pride middleweight champion. He fought elite guys like Dan Henderson and Rich Franklin, and none of them could even make it out of the second round. His current run is without equal in MMA.
Cactus Jim compares the two all the way down to the mental game, and still finds that Silva is the guy.
Looking at the two, I give Silva the striking edge, Fedor the ground edge, and feel that power, mental toughness, and general well roundness in the various aspects of the fight game as being equal. If only these factors are taken into consideration, I would call this one a draw, but I think we have to take into account the quality of competition and ease of dispatch of those opponents into the equation. Given that statement I would say that Anderson Silva edges out Fedor Emelianenko as #1 pound for pound fighter today.
Friend of the site, Stevie J of Angrymarks.com has added his two cents and thinks that Georges St. Pierre and Urijah Faber need to be in the argument, but concludes that it’s also Silva of the two guys.
I have a hard time not putting GSP in that category and an ESPECIALLY hard time not putting Urijah Faber in there. If you judge PFP (pound for pound) by dominance of their weight class, Silva is probably #1 and Faber is #2. Then again the way Fedor totally destroyed Sylvia does put him right back in the hunt but for the longest I didn’t think Fedor was actually proving anything because of all his freak show fights (beating Matt Lindland and Hong-Man Choi, c’mon).
I think it’s easy to conclude that because Anderson Silva fights for the UFC and thus, faces what we can consider to be top competition, or at least as good of competition as he can, and fights regularly, he’s probably the best pound for pound between the two. But we pretty much all agreed that if Fedor stepped up his schedule and fought more often and against better opponents, he’d probably overtake Silva. If he faces Andrei Arlovski and Josh Barnett, and beats them both decidedly, he’d prove a lot and win back the phantom pound for pound title.
Obviously, no one can ever know who is the best pound for pound, but it’s definitely fun to think about it.